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Hutchinson County Courthouse construction to start in October

OLIVET — The construction for the new Hutchinson County Courthouse is set to begin Oct. 1 and scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019. Puetz Corporation in Mitchell will lead the construction management.

"We will move multiple construction crews to the site starting October. The completion of the project is scheduled for the fall of next year," said Keith Reiners, project manager for Puetz Corporation.

The Hutchinson County Commissioners reviewed 25 bids for the more than $4.5 million project to replace the old courthouse that was built in 1881. Officials had started the discussion about the replacement in 2013 and initially faced opposition from the community and officials from the surrounding towns. In special election in April of this year, Hutchinson County voters approved building a new courthouse in Olivet by a 2 to 1 margin.

During the years leading up to the vote, the county set aside a $2.7 million construction fund for the project to alleviate taxpayers being burdened with the cost.

By the time the new 23,000-square-foot one-story building is completed, it could cost more than $4.5 million. The new courthouse will have more space, a larger courtroom, will be accessible to those with disabilities and have a security system.

"We do not have a physical address yet, but the new courthouse will be on Mentor Street, about two blocks north of the old courthouse," said Diane Murtha, Hutchinson County auditor.

Final plans have not been made for the original 1881 courthouse.